Shelters would rather euthanise than donate dogs to SAPS - police

2015-10-08 13:45
Officer Eddie McAuley and his sniffer dog, Helda (Netwerk24)

Officer Eddie McAuley and his sniffer dog, Helda (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Animal shelters would rather put dogs to sleep than donate them toward the police’s dog unit, Western Cape police have said.

But the Cape of Good Hope SPCA counters that this is to lessen the chances of them being ill-treated.

Provincial police are appealing to the public to donate their dogs to the force after several four-legged crime-fighters retired recently.

Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk said the majority of police dogs are donated by the public. 

While the police had a breeding programme, it could not meet the demand, he explained. 

"Unfortunately, shelters are reluctant to donate dogs that are suitable as they have a policy not to donate dogs to the police and end up euthansing dogs that would stand a chance of being productive in the fight against crime," he said.   

But the Cape of Good Hope SPCA’s Wanika Davids said the reason for this policy was that the adoption of working or security dogs increases the chances of them being subjected to neglect and cruelty.

"Our policy is always preferential to adopting animals - in this case dogs - as companion animals. We do not adopt out dogs for working, commercial or security reasons. This goes not only for SAPS, but for any security company or potential adopter."

The Unit Commander of the Cape Town Dog Unit, Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Myers, last week in a statement made an urgent appeal to the public to donate German Shepherds (Alsatians), Malinois, Rottweilers, Jack Russells, Labradors and Border Collies aged between 10 months and two years.

These breeds are preferred due to their intelligence and natural instincts, Van Wyk said. 

The dogs are evaluated for their suitability to be trained for law enforcement.

"The main criteria is drive... it must be active."

Dogs that are accepted are issued to officers who have undergone a "stringent selection process" prior to a four-month training course.

Read more on:    nspca  |  police  |  animals  |  crime

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